What to bring in your backpack for your trip.

Heading to New Zealand but not sure what to bring? Thinking about what to pack to keep your bag under 20kg? Here’s some useful tips on preparing for your New Zealand adventures tour.

We are all guilty of overpacking, which sucks when you have to carry your backpack on and off the bus on tour.

We always used to pack way too much and only wear half the clothes...so here is our guide to what to bring to New Zealand. 


APS3423 Ben Lomond Station Queenstown Julian Apse2
Time of Year

New Zealand has a very wonderful and summer and a cold winter! It is not all beach days and BBQ's! A large proportion of the country doesn't get super cold but you dont fool yourself into thinking you’ll be wearing nothing but Flip Flops (or as the Kiwis call them Jandles) and no t-shirt on a day to day basis!

If you are travelling in the low season (which runs from April - October) having warmer items and thermals in your backpack is a must. Including a good pair of hiding boats and a waterproof jacket.

If you are planning your New Zealand  trip in peak season over summer October-March, you’ll have much better weather - so shorts and t-shirts are the main items on your list. However, Auckland has been described as having four seasons in one day, so layers are important. the bottom of the South Island will still be windy and chilly so you will still need a jacket when visiting there in summer.


The other thing to keep in mind in New Zealand is WHERE you’re travelling to. New Zealand's two islands have slightly different climates.

If you're landing in Queenstown in July the chances are it’s going to be on the cold side, probably a bit wet too - in which case some warmer items and a rain jacket should make it into your backpack.

Landing in Auckland at the same time and you’ll be greeted by mild temperatures and the sun is still strong in the day, so pack sunscreen.

ST02 George Crossing Queenstown Chris McLennan3

What you pack will also depend on what you want to do in New Zealand. As a surfer you will probably want an extra pair of boardies/bikini or a nice fluffy towel. If you are going to hike a lot you will need to pack those waking shoes.

When you think about what to pack, its more important to think what you are going to use!

We love a travel towel too. It take up hardly any space and dress super fast, so you can repack it without wetting the rest of your clothes. You can always rent towels from hotels or hostels on your journey. Or if you plan to move into a house and work you can buy a cheap one from Warehouse later. 

You Can Always Buy It

Most places in New Zealand are pretty well supplied with shops! Be careful buying things in the small shops in rural towns, but the rest is pretty well priced.

But it also means that when you initially pack things that are pretty heavy can simply be bought when you land.

We’re talking day to day supplies like shampoo, shower gel, sunscreen and heaps of toiletries - why transport them halfway around the world when you can just nip to a shop to buy them! 

Suitcase or Backpack

We also strongly advise that you travel with a soft backpack rather than a suitcase. If you are taking any of our tours in New Zealand we always recommend you have a backpack between 15-20kg. Anything heavier and it becomes difficult to get on and off the bus.

We understand some of you are doing a longer round the world trip so have a lot of luggage, we recommend you store this in your starting city if possible and return to collect it after. Of course we do know thats sometimes impossible, so please mention at your time of booking your luggage weight.

We don't supply camels on our tours to carry your luggage so don't forget you will have to carry your bag around yourself...so don't pack things you don't need! Bet you cant wait to get that backpack packed and get on the road!

Tours to get you there

Scenic Tour and Jet Boat

Journey into a land of outstanding natural beauty rich in gold mining history and experience an exclusive tour or Winky’s Museum and the Sainsbury Gold Claim plus the jet boat ride.